Catfish, Sharptooth (Clarias Gariepinus)
The Sharptooth Catfish is found throughout the African continent from the Nile to the Orange system to Umtamvuna and has been widely exported across the globe and is now stocked into Thailand’s fishing lakes and ponds.
The slimy eel-like predatory Sharptooth Catfish occurs in almost any habitat including lakes, flood plains and sluggish rivers and is tolerant of extreme environmental changes.
This species of Catfish is a air-breathing catfish that is able to migrate across land in damp conditions with the aid of its pectoral fins. Sharptooth Catfish are tolerant of oxygen depleted waters and can live for extended periods out of water.
With a predatory appearance and body closely resembling a small European Wels catfish the Sharptooth Catfish hunts predominantly on the bottom searching out fish, small mammals and reptiles with its highly sensitive maxillary barbels.
The Sharptooth Catfish displays a mottled brown to grey/ green colouration throughout its slimy elongated body and has a wide flat compressed head which is equipped with small dark eyes and an impressive collection of four pairs of sensory whiskers (maxillary barbels).
In addition to preying solely on prey items the Sharptooth catfish also feeds on various plant and vegetable matter and is capable of straining fine plankton if necessary.
This Catfish species is a nocturnal predator which feeds mostly at night and in low light conditions and is a ravenous monster fish that swallows its prey whole.
During spawning the male Sharptooth Catfish manipulates its elongated body into a U shape grasping the head of the female for a few seconds. A batch of milt and eggs is then released which is then distributed by a swish of the females tail. This process is repeated on several further occasions during the spawning process.
The Sharptooth Catfish although not a native monster fish in Thailand is resident in several fishing lakes and ponds throughout Thailand reaching weights in the excess of 30 lb’s.
The Sharptooth Catfish is regularly caught whilst fishing in Thailand on a variety of live and dead fish baits fished on the bottom.